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JennyUptown

Rockville, Maryland Restaurants

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Momo Taro makes great sushi. They have a $1 special on Monday nights only. Cuban Corner is nice (if a lil' heavy).

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Heh, you know what Tony Bourdain says about fish on Mondays...

I had dinner with my parents at Houston's -- the one on the Pike -- earlier this week and am ashamed to say that I liked it. The pork chop I ordered was cooked perfectly, and their steaks were decent too. My only quibble was their caesar salad with eggless (bleah) dressing. Service was really, really good.

IMO, the food is still a bit overpriced but it's a reliable safe option for eating with folks who don't have adventurous tastes.

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Heh, you know what Tony Bourdain says about fish on Mondays...

:rolleyes: Yeah, I also read the part about when he decided he wanted to become a chef... :blink:

I like Maria's Bakery and Cafe on Rockville Pike. Yeah, it's Chinese and it's informal but it's the best we've got in the area for a HK "chachanteng". A cup of HK style milk tea and some pineapple buns does the soul good after a horrid day at work. They also do a great Chinese chicken curry with spaghetti. The curry has roasted potatoes and lightly fried dark meat pieces along with onions in a yellow curry sauce and comes with a plate of rice spaghetti noodles.

Oh and they make the best crinkle cut fries. Dip 'em in the curry sauce and it's smashing.

I know. Chinese. Crinkle cut fries. Odd but good!

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There are two Ambrosia places now. One which says it's The Original is at Montrose Crossing. The other one up the Pike near Staples and the carwash. We like them both but I've had the best lamb dishes at the Montrose Crossing restaurant.

Also, in the discussion about lunch places on the pike no one mentioned the terrific cafes in the Richie Center. India Grill is there now and I like it more than Bombay Bistro. El Mariachi is another good Richie Center option. I have not been to the kabob place but I hear it's pretty good.

terry


Eating an artichoke is like getting to know someone really well.

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Also, in the discussion about lunch places on the pike no one mentioned the terrific cafes in the Richie Center. India Grill is there now and I like it more than Bombay Bistro. El Mariachi is another good Richie Center option. I have not been to the kabob place but I hear it's pretty good.

What do you like better about India Grill, and do they still do the lunch buffet? I haven't been there since it moved.

We almost always go to Bombay Bistro, but India Grill is within walking distance and if it's as good - why drive? :smile:


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Also, in the discussion about lunch places on the pike no one mentioned the terrific cafes in the Richie Center. India Grill is there now and I like it more than Bombay Bistro. El Mariachi is another good Richie Center option. I have not been to the kabob place but I hear it's pretty good.

terry

I haven't actually eaten kabobs in the kabob place (that's Sam's Cafe, I believe), but they have fantastic Italian Gelato in the front of the store!

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We tried a new addition to downtown Rockville yesterday. After working in the yard all morning we decided on the spur of the moment to go out to lunch. We ended up at the stylish new Miss Saigon, across the street from the under-construction Town Center site.

We shared spring rolls and calamari to start. Both were tasty, especially the juicy spring rolls. The kids split the marinated grilled salmon which came with a pile of rice noodles topped with fried shallots, and some grilled tomato, green pepper, and onion. They finished all of it. I tried long noodles with grilled chicken and shrimp that reminded me very much of Pad Thai. Scott had Hanoi grilled pork, tasty but a little dry. My MIL's clay pot caramel shrimp started sweet, with a kick of heat that built up over time. We all had the excellent fresh lemonade with our meals. Prices were very reasonable - lunch for 5 was $80, including tax and tip.

I had lunch there with friends a week ago and the shrimp salad and Vietnamese iced coffee were very good.

It's a pretty space, somewhat hampered but the lack of obvious parking nearby. Street parking is down the block and around the corner, or you can pay to park in a garage on West Middle Lane. The dining room was 1/4 full yesterday, but it does brisk lunch business from the nearby courthouse and Judicial Center during the week, and gets some dinner business from folks going to the nearby movie theater. If they can hang on until the town center is built their location will pay off.


Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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What's not to love in Rockville...

I had dinner at the Clyde's at Tower Oaks Lodge (not my choice, I had voted for Black Market :angry: ) last night with a bunch of moms from Emma's school. The calamari was competent, my salad was a little underdressed but good, my main dish... might have been the worst meal I've had so far this year, and that includes frozen pizza.

Seared Scallops with pancetta & asparagus, over mashed potatoes sounded OK but the execution left much to be desired. Diced asparagus mixed with too much salty bacon was tossed with what was obviously frozen peas 'n' carrots and dumped, with its liquid around indifferent mashed potatoes. It was topped with a generous serving of utterly tasteless scallops, with almost no color despite being "seared". Bleah.

Dessert was some Hawaiian thing served in half a pineapple It was good - pineapple, mango and strawberries over coconut ice cream and pound cake - but was obviously meant to serve 3 people. I wound up eating the fruit and leaving the rest.

I talked the ladies out of a California chard and we drank a Yalumba Viognier instead - and it was the best part of the meal.


Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Watching this thread with renewed interest, as so far the 'best'* apartment I've seen was in Rockville.

* Not saying much, but it DID have an actual kitchen, and not just a stove and sink built into a closet with sliding doors. That the two places were the same price continues to astound.


Edited by Chef Shogun (log)

Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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I've long felt the best thing about food in Rockville was the food shopping, not the restaurant dining. I regularly hit the Trader Joe's up there. I also stop by My Organic Market, Lotte and Katz's Koshermart around the intersection of Boiling Brook Parkway and Nicholson once a month or so. One of my L'academie classmates pointed me to Yekta, a middle eastern market with great prices on spices and dried fruits and nuts--I think it's in the same shopping center as Joe's Noodle House.

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One of my L'academie classmates pointed me to Yekta, a middle eastern market with great prices on spices and dried fruits and nuts--I think it's in the same shopping center as Joe's Noodle House.

It is indeed a couple of doors down from Joe's. Fantastic little middle eastern market, with very reasonable prices on all sorts of things.

The adjacent kabob place, whose sign says "Kabobi House", though I think there's another actual name for the place, is quite good. Their cornish game hen kabobs are the best I've had around - always meaty and juicy. Huge plates of food for very little money.

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Ambrosia has moved from Congressional to a location just south of Montgomery College.  It's in a little strip near the Staples.  And India Grill (also formerly located in the Congressional shopping strip recently razed to the ground) has relocated north to the Ritchie Center, home of IHOP and several interesting ethnic markets.

And Tom Sietsema's review of Urban Bar-B-Que today sounds very promising. 

Urban Bar-B-Que

2007 Chapman Ave. (at Twinbrook Parkway)

Rockville,  MD  20852

Phone: 240-290-4827

As a disclaimer I have to say that my son works at Urban BBQ on Saturday nights. We started going there for lunch on Saturdays after his guitar lessons across the street. He liked it so much that he asked for a job.

That said. I think that this is the best BBQ in the area. I really love the ribs, St. Louis style, meaty and tender with a great flavor. They also have a great brisket.

The dirty wings are my favorite of any in the area. They aren't the typical Buffalo wings, instead they are marinated in a mixture of hot sauce and Thai chili sauce, then finished on the grill. Absolutely delish.

The pulled pork is quite good, and the BLT is wonderful. They also make a nice roast chicken. Suprisingly the crab cake is very good, not what one would expect from a BBQ place. Soul rolls are different, quite good actually but you have to be into that type of thing. One thing to make sure to try is the Apple Crisp dessert. For the price ($4) it can't be beat. A large single serving apple pie really. They make it themselves (as they do for everything except the corn dogs and the sandwich rolls) and if you like apple pie, this is for you. They serve a draft root beer that is very good, and if you like such, a great root beer float.

My favorite sides are the mac and cheese and the collard greens.

It is very small, just 10 stools, but they are expanding soon. Also, they just got (or are getting in a couple of weeks) their beer license. The folks are very friendly and really into making sure you enjoy your food. And being able to munch on the salted in the shell peanuts while waiting for your order to come up is also a plus. I highly recommend this place to anyone who wants a great BBQ.

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I haven't been to Urban in over a year and definitely need to go back.

Some old friends dragged me to dinner at Timpano's earlier this week. It wasn't as bad as I expected. Picked some relatively "safe" options (spinach salad with blue cheese and warm bacon dressing, seared ahi tuna) which turned out okay, but I would've rather spent $36 elsewhere.

Oh well. It's the people you dine with that matters, right?

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My wife and I had dinner last night at Amina Thai Restaurant. (5065 Nicholson Lane). This is the DC area's first Halal (Muslim) Thai resturant. Since they are observant, there is no pork or alcohol.

Dinner was in a word, delicious. This is a very small place (40 seats) but pretty with blue and yellow walls and photographs of Thailand on the wall. Blond tables and comfortable seating.

After a coupld of Thai coffees, we started with a Tom Kha Gai (soup made from coconut milk, galanga and lime base with chicken and mushrooms and hot sauce) I thought the $4.25 price tag was a little high until I saw the bowl, at least twice the size of what is normally served in the Thai restaurants I have been to. It was excellent.

Next came an appertizer, Yum Nua, grilled steak thinly sliced with red onions, cucumber and tomatoes in a spicy lime dressing served on shredded bok choi.

We followed that with an absolutely delicious entree of Spicy Eggplant, slices of baby eggplant stir-fried with hot chili, garlice and fresh basil. The eggplant had a smoky flavor that was sublime. While it could have been a little spicier for my taste, it was excellent.

As the centerpiece of the meal, we had Pla Lad Pik, crispy whole fried flounder with spicy fresh chili, basil and garlic sauce. Beautifully presented, cooked to perfection, and very flavorful. It was not so drenched in the sauce to make it soggy. It could be ordered in three sizes, we took the medium.

We finished with a couple of orders of mango with sticky rice. Again, very good and a large serving.

Service was exceptional. Always prompt, never intrusive, dishes were wisked away as soon as you were finished with them but never rushed. Water glasses were always full and everyone always was polite and smiling.

The whole meal, dinner, tax, and tip came to $70. If we hadn't ordered the fish it would have been less. I will definitely be back.

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DH and I go to Amina Thai quite a bit. So much better than the other ones around (tara thai, etc), and extremely good service! They deliver too, although it takes a little while for them to find you.

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A relative in VA picked this restaurant for the family to go to for father's day, and I have never heard of it! Now, that could be good, or bad...anyone been there and have anything to comment?

Baronessa

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I think it's new. I saw some coupons for it in Clipper Magazine this month.

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What's not to like: Benjarong.

This used to be one of the better Thai restaurants in MoCo, not as good as Ruan Thai or Dusit in Wheaton but better than Tara Thai or Tara Asia. Judging by our meal last weekend, they have slipped badly. What I prize in Thai cuisine is the exquisite balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet, and the initial palate explosion of fresh herbs and chilies, with the preserved spices and flavorings providing a bass note to round and deepen the flavors. There was none of that happening at Benjarong.

Tom Yam Goong was a thin broth with a multitude of button mushrooms, cilantro, and two overcooked tasteless shrimp. There was no discernable flavor other than dried chili: no citrus, lemongrass, lime leaf, or even fish sauce.

Pad Thai was overly sweet and loaded with bean curd and tasteless shreds of egg, with no discernable peanut flavor and no citrus to squeeze on top. I am hardly an expert Thai chef but my pad thai is 100 times better than that.

Pad Prik King Muu is one of our benchmark dishes - a spicy dry curry of pork and green beans, aromatic with wild lime leaf, green peppercorns and holy basil. Benjarong's version disappointed in every way. Tough morsels of pork with undercooked, unpleasantly chewy green beans in a soupy sauce tasting of nothing but chili.

The kid's order of chicken with vegetables in oyster sauce was a thin soupy mix of baby corn, cabbage, and tough tasteless carrot slices with a few chicken pieces mixed in.

One scant cup of cooked rice was provided with each entree.

We won't be back.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Had a similar experience at Benjarong. Muddied flavors, muddied broths.

Go to Thai Farm in the King's Farm development. MUCH better


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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It's like deja vu all over again. :wacko:


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I just spent a very long day hitting about 8 places along Rockville Pike for stocking up home and preparing for some catering work. Thought I'd report some changes that I saw afoot...plus some that were simply new to me.

For Kosher aficionados, it looks like Katz's (now marketing itself as Kosher Mart) is in the middle of being worked over. I saw a SUSHI COUNTER going in. The Katz's Kosher Kafe is now called something like Moti's. In addition to the deli sandwiches the Kafe carried, there are now Middle Eastern/Sephardic specialties, including a spit of shwarma that smelled wonderful. Some things have been moved around--the bakery is now situated where the wine was. Don't get me wrong, it's still a somewhat grungy supermarket with narrow aisles, but the cafe is especially improved in appearance and I'm optimistic for their future. (Kosher Mart is on Boiling Brook Parkway; from Rockville Pike northbound, turn right on Nicholson Lane and then right again at the light on Boiling Brook. Kosher Mart is in a shopping center on the right. Once upon a time, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were located in a building almost immediately behind Kosher Mart--there's your Rockville trivia for the day.)

That's Amore has closed, and a sign reads that a PGA Clubhouse restaurant is opening in its place. Wotta concept. :rolleyes: I've never even heard of such a thing.

I discovered a restaurant supply shop at 12141 Nebel Street: J&B Restaurant Equipment, tucked into the corner of an industrial strip center. Not a bad place to stock up on strainers, cutting boards and Cambros. They also carry some Asian restaurant crockery, so if you want inexpensive sushi plates or Chinese soup bowls, they're a good place to check out. From Rockville Pike Northbound, turn right on Randolph Road and right again on Nebel. 12141 is in a strip center on the left--the second or third one you come to.

I hadn't been in the Gourmet Giant at Randolph and Rockville Pike in over a year. It too has been rearranged, making for a sometimes confusing layout. The lines were much shorter and faster than I'd seen before, and the self-checkout obviously has made a major impact in this regard. But then, I haven't been in on a Saturday afternoon in years. An employee actually stopped and asked me if I needed assistance as I surveyed aisle signage--that's not happened to me in any Giant since Royal Ahold purchased the chain. Later I saw a group of Giant execs crowded around the grab n go sandwich bin near the cheese shop, which may have impacted my service experiences today. I also have to say I have never seen the cheese shop there looking as spiffy as it did today. It looks a helluva lot more pleasant than the other Giants I'm familiar with closer to Silver Spring/Takoma Park.

I have nothing new to report on A&J, but those pork dumplings and the garlic-cucumber salad sure made for a satisfying lunch between stops.

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I discovered a restaurant supply shop at 12141 Nebel Street: J&B Restaurant Equipment, tucked into the corner of an industrial strip center.

Excellent! It appears to be near the school supply shop I frequent. Will defnitely be checking it out.

I was at that same Giant today and noticed all the managment types hanging around. Wonder what was going on?


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I discovered a restaurant supply shop at 12141 Nebel Street: J&B Restaurant Equipment, tucked into the corner of an industrial strip center.

Excellent!

What she said. Might have to take a long lunch today.


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Hi All,

Any thoughts on the food scene in Gaithersburg? My company has decided to move my team there full time starting Mon and I haven't had a chance to explore the neighborhood - though I did hit a fairly decent seafood resto (name slipped from memory) when I got the office tour.

I was going to start a new thread to ask the question, but since Rockville's a stone's throw away I thought I'd just append my query here.

Thanks!

Chris


Edited by C_Ruark (log)

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

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Hi All,

Any thoughts on the food scene in Gaithersburg? My company has decided to move my team there full time starting Mon and I haven't had a chance to explore the neighborhood - though I did hit a fairly decent seafood resto (name slipped from memory) when I got the office tour.

I was going to start a new thread to ask the question, but since Rockville's a stone's throw away I thought I'd just append my query here.

Thanks!

Chris

Drive to Rockville.

:laugh:

No, seriously.

:sad:


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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